$1 million in Community Preservation funds awarded

The Community Preservation Committee chair quietly shook his head. “We just gave away over $1 million in 47 minutes.”

Of course, we were just approving money already there, and our job is to give it away. These are the annual grants to applicants who applied for money to upgrade or construct facilities that benefit the community.

I serve on my town’s Community Preservation Committee, the body of representatives that accept, evaluate, and vote on grants that come from Community Preservation funds.

Cynthia Stead

Years ago, municipalities were given the opportunity to collect, via a 3% surcharge on property tax, money to be distributed as grants to underwrite projects through a competitive grant system. The three original areas eligible for funding are: the preservation of open space, affordable housing and historic preservation. Recreation funding was added later. The commonwealth sends matching funds to the towns through the state budget process from another fee at the Registry of Deeds.

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